Dog Care Checklist: Read Before You Get a Dog

You’ve made an excellent choice in deciding to adopt a dog. They are like furry little ones. Just as you would get everything ready in anticipation of a child, you ought to do the same before bringing a dog into your home. 

Forever homes

Dogs are for life. They live for on average 10 to 14 years. Take this into consideration before getting a puppy or a dog. Puppies grow out of the playful boisterous stage and start settling into the golden winter years of peaceful companionship. 

Remember that all dogs grow into beautiful life partners for the whole family with a little training and patience when you have a high-maintenance puppy. If you are not sure about giving that amount of commitment, adopt an adult dog. Older dogs that live out their best years with you by their side. 

Research the breed 

Dogs are diverse; each breed has its own unique characteristics and personalities. Some need a little more care and attention, while others require a lot more physical activity. You get lap dogs and dogs that run laps around your house. 

Here is a quick guide to a few popular breeds that are great companions: 

  • Labradors: These loyal dogs are perfect family pets; they need human companionship or other dogs to spend their days with. They are easily trained. They are a little sensitive and don’t take well to tiny children playing rough with them. They are suited to homes with young to pre-teen children. They are protective of their owners. 
  • Golden retrievers: The family dog, these intelligent dogs are born loyal, fun-loving, and active. They require a little coat maintenance and regular brushing. They need regular playtime and walking. 
  • French bulldogs: The big-eared lap dog, these little guys are love bugs and are suited to apartment living, as they don’t need that much exercise. They are ideal for young children and appreciate sleeping on the same bed as a family member. 
  • Beagles: Floppy ears, long sturdy bodies, these curious dogs are an excellent breed for the active family that enjoys family trips to the great outdoors. They are intelligent and low maintenance. 
  • Boxers: The bounding Boxer is suited to an active pet parent. They are full of energy and are incredibly playful. Their coats are low maintenance, and they require extra yard space to run wild. 

Home prep before getting a dog

If you have children, you know that you need to baby-proof and secure your home before bringing your bundle of joy home. Puppies are the same. Before bringing your new pup home, run through it and dog-proof it. Dogs are known for chewing cables, getting into bags of unattended dog food. There is nothing worse than coming home to a kitchen covered with kibble and chewed-up packaging. 

Check that your trash is secure and not within reach of your curious pup. Puppies have itchy gums as their teeth come through; shoes make excellent chew toys if left out. Adult dogs are also well known to chew furniture and other household items if left unstimulated and bored. Crawl through your house on your knees and investigate any possible areas your new pet might get into. 


New pets require a few things to help them settle into your home with ease. Getting these before you get your dog will make your life a lot easier. You won’t need to dash to the store last minute and risk having to feed your new dog out of your bowls. Here are the basics:

  • Food and water bowls: Opt for two of each, and make sure you purchase big enough bowls for their food. 
  • A comfy dog bed – even if they share a bed with you, they need a safe space of their own. 
  • A leash and collar – do a little research on collars and leash safety. 
  • Good quality dog food – ask the shelter or breeder for a little food or the brand; this will help you transition their food onto a different brand. 
  • Poop bags: Every animal owner should clean up after their pet. 
  • TREATS! All good dogs need a treat every once in a while. 

New puppy supplies 

There are a few things to consider when getting a puppy. They have slightly different needs. Here is a list of puppy supplies you could invest in:

  • Puppy pee pads – Pee pads are great for potty training. These are excellent for the first few weeks as it gets them straight into the habit of better toilet habits. 
  • A harness for walking – puppies can be boisterous; they are best suited to a harness for walking as it supports their bodies and doesn’t place pressure on the neck while they learn to walk with you. 
  • Age-appropriate toys – Young pups often need to chew toys. Plenty of chewy toys keep them from eating your shoes, socks, and the corners of your favorite couch. 

Adult dog supplies 

Adult dogs are a little different; it is best to check with the breeder or shelter what the dog likes and whether they are active dogs. If previous owners already trained your dog, you can go right ahead and get a regular leash and dog-safe collar. Take these into consideration when getting adult dog supplies: 

  • Doggy ramps – Depending on your dog’s age and breed, they might need a little help getting onto furniture or getting down a set of stairs. A dog ramp is vital for avoiding injuries, especially if you are not home to help your pooch. (check these out
  • Supplements – The season your dog is in can also bring with it some aches and pains; consider a high-quality joint supplement.
  • Appropriate toys –  Older dogs love toys as well. Try finding out what kind of toys they love and investing in a few good-quality toys. Some older dogs love soft toys to snuggle; others prefer a rubber tug-o-war style toy.

The perfect vet 

Perhaps the most critical responsibility for new pet parents is the health of their animals. Make sure you have your new pet checked in with a trusted veterinarian. Make sure you keep all the emergency numbers available for any pet sitters. Proper veterinary care is essential whether you have a large dog or a small dog; they all need a good puppy dog. 

You may want to find a secondary vet that is available during emergencies should you not contact your primary caregiver. Your trusty veterinarian will be able to give you reliable advice on how to look after your pet, as well as easing into the first few weeks of life with a new dog. 


Dogs are not born knowing exactly how to get through life; they need guidance and training. There are a few kinds of training available for dogs; potty training, obedience, and behavioral are all critical. There is no such thing as a bad dog, all it takes is a few training classes, and your pup will be ready to tackle anything. 

Puppy training is vital for teaching your dog how to behave, listen to your cues, and not be afraid of the human world. Quality training helps nip undesirable behaviors in the bud and fosters good behavior. Potty training is not always easy, but it is necessary to keep your home free of mess and pee puddles. 

Mans best friend

Dogs are natural life companions for many people; they are truly man’s best friend. It is only fair that you make sure your family considers your pet’s needs and is fully prepared for a new family member. 

Krystal Morrison

I create this blog to share my daily tips about home improvement, children, pets, food, health, and ways to be frugal while maintaining a natural lifestyle. Interested to be a Guest Blogger on my website? Please email me at: [email protected]

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